Thursday, May 5, 2016


I wasn’t really planning on going to Texas. I mean, of all places in the US, why there? Well, what happened is that while searching for flights from Los Angeles to Mexico City, all the direct flights were more expensive than the ones with stopovers by around USD 100. I crossed out Volaris from my list because the prices were almost similar to American Airlines, which is part of my mileage program alliance. I found a flight with a stopover in Dallas and I thought, why not? I land there at 6 AM and take off at 6 PM. Daytrip!

Another option was to just visit a friend in Austin but she said that it would take around 3 hours to get there one-way via public transportation, which seemed a bit too exhausting. And so I just stayed in Dallas for some old-fashioned stroll downtown. Two alternatives were to go to either Six Flags or the extreme park which would have been both doable. But then I was coming from a flight and haven’t had more than three hours of sleep. As much as I love roller coasters, I know what my limitations are.

The good thing about this daytrip is that I spent less than USD 20 for it because the entire cost of the plane ride I counted as part of my expenses for Mexico City. The DART day pass was USD 5. My breakfast was also around USD 5. My lunch at Subway was less than USD 10. Extra costs could have been spent on museums and other attractions but I didn’t bother to do anything other than take a stroll and admire Dallas’ cityscape, which wasn’t bad at all.

The DART ride took almost an hour from the airport all the way to West End. For your convenience, you can download a walking map of Dallas showing you all the important tourist attractions in the city. I chose the one from National Geographic and it was really easy to follow. What other people do is join a Segway tour of the city which is also fun but will set you back around USD 60. I prefer walking and Wikipedia. All in all, I was strolling for almost four hours with breaks in between.

I arrived at West End just in time for breakfast at around 9 AM and was headed back to the airport by 3 PM. I had a lot of time left to rest before my flight to Mexico took off. And so, what did I see in Dallas? A lot of skyscrapers! The cityscape has been really awesome and I was glad that I had around 60+ photos after the entire trip. Honestly, I thought I wouldn’t be seeing anything. I was pleasantly surprised. Many tourist attractions are clustered around Founders Plaza, so let’s start there.

Aside from multiple parks where you can just sit on a bench or sleep on it like a true blue hobo, there is also this castle-like thingy next to the JFK Memorial. It's huge, red, seemingly made of bricks, and topped with mini conical domes. It’s attention-grabbing alright but also provokes curiosity. To quote my friend on Instagram, “What is Texan about this castle?” Exactly! Anyway, it houses a museum focusing on Dallas’ history. If you want more information, Google "Old Red Courthouse."

A few steps away from the castle is JFK Memorial. Lest we forget, it is in this city where his assassination took place. The memorial is simple and looks like a giant white Lego brick of sorts. It definitely stands out despite the domineering castle right next to it. If you want to see the exact same spot where the president was shot, you will have to walk down a block or two to Dealey Plaza where you will find a small park with monuments and fountains. There are benches there if you need to take a break.

Across the street from the park is the Sixth Floor Museum. Look up and set your gaze upon the rightmost window. That’s where Lee Harvey Oswald was said to be standing when he shot JFK. Now that the building is a museum, you can actually go inside, but of course you have to pay. I didn’t find that necessary. Follow the road leading down to the grassy knoll and you will see a white X on the pavement. That X marks the spot of the assassination, although up to now people still seem to be debating about what really happened.

I didn’t have access to Wiki when I was there because I didn’t have mobile data. There was a hobo who approached me and gave me all that info while taking my souvenir photos for me. And then he told me that he was working on tips to feed the family. He wasn’t scary or anything. He was actually polite, and I have great respect for adults who “work” for their money instead of robbing you in broad daylight. So I gave him a tip anyway! You don’t have to, though, because there are free tours, but whatevs.

What followed was more walking which ultimately lead to exhaustion. It wasn’t very hot that day and the distance between attractions were not that huge, but I just thought I’ve already seen enough. Structures that stood out for me include the Reunion Tower, Union Station, the big red Pegasus of Omni Hotel as well as the office of the Dallas Morning News. The rest were skyscrapers of the CBD along with a glass pyramid designed by I.M. Pei.
[TEXAS] Budget and Itinerary

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